Vasyl Lomachenko kicked off the Mayweather vs Pacquiao undercard Saturday with a dominant win over Gamalier Rodriguez, taking a few rounds to get going before battering the bejesus out of Rodriguez and effectively forcing him to quit.
It was meant to be a showcase on a big pay-per-view, representing the fighter HBO chose to spotlight. That Rodriguez may have won a couple of the first three rounds was surprising, and Lomachenko was having a little trouble finding the range.
In the 4th, with Rodriguez complaining of a hand injury to his corner, Lomachenko took off, demonstrating the all-around skill and raw ability that has made him one of the most hyped young fighters in the game. And Rodriguez ceased being able to do anything at all; he only landed four out of 110 jabs, according to CompuBox.
Rodriguez suffered a cut, twice took a knee and lost two points for low blows. The first knee came on a left hand body shot in the 7th, and the final knockdown came in the 9th with two rights. Rodriguez pulled that trick where he waited for the ref to count to 10 and then spring up surprised, like the ref somehow botched the call. Nice try, Rodriguez.
It’d be great if we got Lomachenko back in there against another top featherweight, especially Nicholas Walters, next. Whether his team slows his roll or not — he has moved at an advanced level as a pro, with this fight a rare exception — is the question.